Let’s talk about missed opportunities, and in particular opportunities for businesses to create and develop customer relationships with those actively engaging with a company and its products. Firstly every business should thank the great minds who developed the concept of social media. It is a fantastic tool for users to post their thoughts and ideas on their daily activities. From a business and marketing perspective, it is a great way to see how consumers interact with their products and services. Not to mention it is free.
I’m going to use a current example that lead me to further researching the impact social media can have on understanding the consumer market. I recently posted a tweet to Microsoft asking “@surface was wandering if the surface 3 keyboard would work on my surface pro 2.” I now know the answer of which many stores have told me otherwise (for those wandering, it does, I tested it). I was quite annoyed to the fact that I did not receive any response, whether it was the answer to my question, a link to where I would be able to get more info, nothing. Now that I come to think of it more, it was a wasted opportunity to potentially develop a new customer relationship.
In such a competitive world it is more and more important for businesses to use all tools available to help communicate with its customers. Social media has provided a platform that allows organizations and businesses to do just that, with an added bonus of being in real time. Responding to queries such as mine can help support the customer, and more importantly provide the customer with a public positive experience. I mention public as many other people who might have also inquired the same thing have the opportunity to see this on the public forum.
On the other hand, doing the opposite can also provide a public negative experience. Customer will also be able to see that your company is not supportive to its customers (as if customer support already isn’t a big enough issue) but they may also see the quite often negative outburst that generally follows. We’ll say this article is my negative outburst, I’m constructive in my feedback.
Businesses need to further understand how social media marketing can help them collaborate with engaging customers. With this sense of engagement meaning customers become participants, those acting in an open, participative, social environment. These customers have taken a personal interest and their time to voice their opinion whether it be on their own personal social accounts, on blogs, forums and so forth. This engagement process is broken down into 4 different building blocks:
Consumption: the initial act of a person downloading, reading, watching, or listening to digital content. One must do this before they start commenting or liking something.
Curation: the act in which one sorts, filters, rates, reviews, comments on, tags and or otherwise describes content. These responses to content makes it more useful to others.
Creation: the next act by a user is generating and offering content that they have created themselves. The beauty of this is that customers do this freely and as social media has grown more and more often.
Collaboration: the final act in which encompasses consumption, curation, and creation and forming what we see as online communities. The previous acts can be seen as singular actions, where this final act is the idea of bringing this all together to create social media.
The combinations of these acts can lead to two different avenues. By joining as part of the collaboration process you can provide your business with the upper hand as you communicate the likes and dislikes of your products and services with the customer. You may be able to support them by leading them to a solution, or take on their views and adjust accordingly. Secondly those collaborating with the product are then more like to engage on the next step which is trial, buy and advocate your products. For more information on business engagement with social media I encourage you to read “Social Media Marketing” by Dave Evans.
With the unfortunate example that I had encountered with Microsoft, who may read this article and adjust accordingly, businesses and individuals alike should participate and engage with each other more. If you would like to consume or curate on any of the content I have created and collaborate you can find me on most sites under the username tmagilldotcom.